Saint John police officer faces assault charge

·1 min read
Const. Benaiah Sok has been put on administrative duties. (CBC - image credit)
Const. Benaiah Sok has been put on administrative duties. (CBC - image credit)

A Saint John police officer is on desk duty after being accused of using excessive force during an arrest.

In a news release sent on behalf of Chief Robert Bruce, the Saint John Police Force says Const. Benaiah Sok, who's been with the force for two years, was charged Wednesday with assault causing bodily harm.

"The Saint John Police Force considers complaints of excessive force very serious," Bruce is quoted as saying in the release.

"Our members are trained to respond using the National Use of Force Framework and we hold them to the
highest standard of accountability in this respect."

The release says the Fredericton Police Force conducted an external investigation after a "public complaint."

Alycia Bartlett, Fredericton police spokesperson, said the complaint was originally made to the Saint John Professional Standards Department and forwarded to the Fredericton force on Sept. 3, 2021. She said Fredericton police took on the investigation at the request of the Saint John chief.

The charge against Sok stemmed from an incident Aug. 22 in uptown Saint John. Sok is alleged to have used excessive force while trying to arrest someone, Bartlett said.

Sok is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 7.

"Constable Sok has been reassigned to administrative duties with no public contact pending the criminal proceedings," the Saint John release says. "Once the criminal court proceedings have concluded, a Police Act investigation will follow."

Fredericton police got involved because New Brunswick doesn't have an agency to investigate incidents where police behaviour is an issue.

"As the matter is now before the courts, further details about the complaint are not being released," Bartlett said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting